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After Hollande's Rafale Remarks, Rahul Gandhi Accuses PM Modi of 'Dishonouring Soldiers' Blood'

Francois Hollande was quoted by the French media as saying that the Indian government proposed the Anil Ambani firm as the partner for Dassault Aviation in the Rafale deal and France did not have a choice.


Updated:September 21, 2018, 10:58 PM IST
After Hollande's Rafale Remarks, Rahul Gandhi Accuses PM Modi of 'Dishonouring Soldiers' Blood'
File photo of Congress president Rahul Gandhi. (Photo: Congress/Twitter)
New Delhi: Soon after former French president Francois Hollande on Friday revealed that Indian government proposed Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence as partner for Dassault Aviation in Rafale fighter jet deal, the Congress stepped up its attack on the Narendra Modi government alleging that there was "complicity, collusion and conspiracy" to benefit PM Modi's "crony friend".

Hollande was quoted by the French media as saying that the Indian government left France with no choice in the Rs 58,000-crore Rafale jet fighter deal. “we did not have a say in this... the Indian government proposed this service group and Dassault negotiated with (Anil) Ambani group. We did not have a choice, we took the partner who was given to us,” Hollande was quoted as saying.

The government has been maintaining it did not have any role in selection of the offset partner.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter to accuse Modi of “betraying India and dishonouring the blood of our soldiers”. “The PM personally negotiated & changed the #Rafale deal behind closed doors. Thanks to François Hollande, we now know he personally delivered a deal worth billions of dollars to a bankrupt Anil Ambani. The PM has betrayed India. He has dishonoured the blood of our soldiers,” he said.

The party’s chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala also tweeted, “Cat's out of the Bag!!! Complicity, Collusion & Conspiracy of Modi Govt in denying the PSU, HAL a 30,000 Cr 'offset contract' to benefit PM's crony friend exposed!" In a jibe at Modi, he said the "watchman" is not only just party to corruption, but is the "real criminal".

Congress leader P Chidambaram said, "In the NDA-negotiated Rafale aircraft deal, we have got no aircraft, we have got only lies. What is the new lie that the government will put out in response to Mr Hollande?" "Defence Minister has been called out again! This time by then President of France, Mr Hollande," he added.

The Congress, from its official Twitter handle, said the former French President had exposed "the web of lies" spun by the Modi government.

Another Congress spokesperson, Priyanka Chaturvedi, alleged that "Rafale Minister" and "Reliance Defence's Publicity Minister" colluded to throw HAL out of the deal and hand it over to their dear friend. "National Security can go take a hike. Yaara Teri Yaari, Desh se zyaada Pyaari," she said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the procurement of a batch of 36 Rafale jets after holding talks with then French President Hollande on April 10, 2015 in Paris.

The Opposition has been accusing the government of choosing Reliance Defence over state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) to benefit the private firm though it did not have any experience in the aerospace sector.

(Get detailed and live results of each and every seat in the Lok Sabha elections and state Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim to know which candidate/party is leading or trailing and to know who has won and who has lost and by what margin. Our one-of-its-kind Election Analytics Centre lets you don a psephologist’s hat and turn into an election expert. Know interesting facts and trivia about the elections and see our informative graphics. Elections = News18)
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